Turkey Time with Sarah Palin

November 22, 2008 at 5:18 pm 2 comments


Yesterday I was out with friends and happened to overhear some new Sarah Palin gossip. Having assumed that all Sarah Palin gossip was rendered moot on November 4th, I became intrigued by my peers’ enthusiasm over the Palin buzz. It seems that the Alaska Governor was interviewed by an Anchorage NBC Affiliate the other day, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving the informal press event was held at a local turkey farm. During a slaughter.

While Palin cooly waxes political and shares her restrospctive thoughts on the presidential race, we are distracted by a busy farmer, who picks up turkeys one by one, turns them upside-down into a large cone, severs their necks, and waits patiently while they bleed out a bit. Palin’s hair and makeup are terrific as always, the farmer is wearing a moustache and a baseball cap, and the turkeys are nice and plump. What’s the big deal?

Well, it seems that this Palin interview/turkey massacre has provided many Americans with their very first opportunity to witness a livestock slaughter, and several people – if not millions – are finding the whole scene shocking and distasteful. These are the same millions, no doubt, who are licking their chops at the thought of ritualistically sinking their teeth into some juicy turkey meat this coming Thursday. Just another wonderful example of our penchant for hypocrisy, and a vivid illustration of the enormous gap between our collective alimentary delusion and the true nature of our food system.

Now, I’m no Palin supporter – I campaigned in Ohio for Obama, and spent the summer living in Alaska, where I learned enough about the Governor to know not to vote for her – but I have to give her a high five for bringing the cameras to the turkey slaughter. Not only did she bring us face-to-face with our Turkey Day ghosts, but she did it at a small local farm that processes (slaughters) its animals efficiently and humanely, and raises them without antibiotics. Had she held her interview at a processing plant like the ones that kill and butcher the majority of our holiday birds, we would have borne witness to a highly-mechanized, inhumane, rapid and potentially-dangerous (to plant workers) system. There would be no farmer present, there would be no farm, and there would be no indication of where the live birds came from or where their carcasses were heading.

So, thank you, Sarah Palin. Thanks for celebrating local farms, and thanks for helping us remember that turkeys aren’t born featherless, frozen and plastic-wrapped.

For info on where to find a good holiday bird and seasonal recipes to get you going, visit the Eat Well Guide.


Entry filed under: food, rant time, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catherine  |  November 22, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Good point Gwen. I think many of us just could not believe that she was blathering away about what a fun day she was having while she was standing in front of that, especially since the point was for her to pardon a turkey.

  • 2. pobept  |  November 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I’m afraid that most Americans never think about where meat and produce come from. Then think it grows ready to eat, vacuum packed and frozen.
    Hurry for Sarah Palin


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